10 Aug 2021, 12:58
Kerstine Appunn

German grid agency deems additional north-south “power highway” necessary

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) considers another direct current power connection between the northern state of Lower Saxony and centre Hesse to be necessary in the light of the government’s goal of accelerating the expansion of renewable energy capacities. With this, the agency follows the proposal by Germany’s four transmission grid operators earlier this year. However, another direct current connection between the northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will likely be cut from the plan, energate messenger reported. In addition, more AC connections have to be strengthened or newly constructed, the BNetzA said in a press release, announcing the consultation of the draft of the Grid Development Plan 2035.

Germany is currently planning four direct current “power highways” to bring wind power from the north to the industrial south of the country. They were scheduled to be completed soon after the final shutdown of nuclear power plants in southern Germany by the end of 2022 but grid operators announced recently that they are expecting delays in planning procedures.

The success of Germany's energy transition is highly dependent on the modernisation and expansion of the country's power grid so that renewable power can be distributed and supply and demand balanced across Germany and with neighbouring countries. But critics say that none of the current government’s grid planning acceleration measures have had enough impact. Delays in grid development occur for a range of reasons, such as slow planning procedures or legal challenges.

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